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'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

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THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
February 13, 2013

Guests: Howard Dean, Jim Langevin, Ari Melber, Sam Stein, Rosario Dawson


LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST: The president delivers his second-term
agenda, and Republicans deliver Ted Nugent and a very thirsty Marco Rubio.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The buck stops with the president of the United
States.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The state of our union
is stronger.

JON STEWART, COMEDIAN: And the State of the Union, fine.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let`s talk about the State of the Union.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a check list of things.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was standard laundry list.

CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS: The laundry list of familiar sounding domestic
proposals.

OBAMA: Pursue a market-based solution to climate change. Send me a
comprehensive immigration reform bill. Raise the federal minimum wage to
$9 an hour.

ALEX WAGNER, MSNBC ANCHOR: Raise the minimum wage.

STEPHEN COLBERT, COMEDIAN: Oh, look at me, I`m the president.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A very liberal rhetoric.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: Lip service and
liberalism.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: I support people making more than $9.

ANDREA MITCHELL, MSNBC ANCHOR: Senator Marco Rubio --

RUBIO: I don`t think the minimum wage law works.

MITCHELL: -- delivering a combative Republican response.

RUBIO: More government is not going to get you ahead.

TAMRON HALL, MSNBC ANCHOR: Is that a fact or fiction, or is that just
an opinion?

RUBIO: It`s going to hold you back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is a horrible position to be in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What`s the deal with the water bottle?

RUBIO: I`m just glad the water was nearby.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If he was thirsty, he should take a sip.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is good at it.

OBAMA: If Congress won`t act soon, I will.

MITCHELL: President Obama`s emotional appeal.

OBAMA: Gabby Giffords deserves a vote.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s what I think is going to stick in the
minds of the people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The continued resonance of the gun issue.

MITCHELL: For Congress to at least vote.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They deserve a vote.

MITCHELL: At least to have a vote on the new gun laws is a long way
from let`s get this passed.

OBAMA: The families of Newtown deserve a vote.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will emotional appeals push Congress to act on gun
control.

OBAMA: The families of Oak Creek, and Tucson, and Blacksburg, and the
countless other communities ripped open by gun violence, they deserve a
simple vote.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

O`DONNELL: As he begins his second term, President Obama knows
exactly how many days he has left as president. And he means to use them
well.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: An American Jobs Act. The manufacturing hubs. Tax reform and
entitlement reform. A comprehensive immigration reform bill in the next
few months. A bipartisan market-based solution to climate change. Give
every responsible homeowner in America the chance to save $3,000 a year by
refinancing at today`s rate.

Make high quality preschool available to every single child in
America. Redesign America`s high school so they better equip graduates for
the demands of a high tech economy. Change the Higher Education Act so
that affordability and value are included in determining which colleges
receive certain types of federal aid. Raise the federal minimum wage to $9
an hour.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Today, the president went to Asheville, North Carolina,
where he toured an auto parts plant and emphasized his plans to implement a
manufacturing sector and train our workers for the jobs in the future. But
he had to admit he can`t do all of this alone.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Now, I`m doing what I can just through administrative action.
But I need Congress to help. I need Congress to do their part. I need
Congress to do their part.

(APPLAUSE)

I need Congress to take up these initiatives, because we have come too
far and we have worked too hard to turn back now.

We`ve got to stop with some of the politics that we see in Washington
sometimes that is focused on who`s up and who`s down. Let`s just focus on
the same kind of common sense and cooperation that we`re seeing at this
plant and we see all across the country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Today in Washington, Republican congressional reaction was
predictable. Mitch McConnell`s comment was pedestrian, Republican boiler
plate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCCONNELL: In short, with the exception of his impressive delivery
and trademark style, last night`s speech was pedestrian, liberal
boilerplate that any Democratic lawmaker could have given at any time in
recent memory.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: And why stop there? Why not compare the president to
Hitler, Stalin, Mao or Castro?

Well, Republican congressional leaders don`t have to do that. That`s
what Rush Limbaugh is for.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO HOST: Throughout history, dictators, for
example, have never really been blamed for the bad things that happen in
their countries. Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Castro, none of them were blamed by
the rank and file citizenry. They were, instead, the leaders of the
revolution. They were the great figures trying to change all the evil that
was happening to everybody.

Here`s Obama. This is what agitators do, can community organizers do.
They rile people up, and then they step aside while chaos happens and then
pretend that they have nothing to do with it while they come in and try to
calm everybody down and fix it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Krystal, the president gives an hour-long speech, and what
we realized is, it could have been shorter.

(CROSSTALK)

O`DONNELL: Taken out the rhetoric and just have all the programs
mentioned. But really, not a single Republican response that actually
takes on what he said. Not even Marco Rubio`s.

KRYSTAL BALL, THE CYCLE: That`s exactly right, and, of course, Marco
Rubio`s response was written long before the speech was ever given. It was
not really a response.

But they`re still married to attacking a straw man. They`re not
actually wanting to engage on the policy substance, because the substance
of these policies uniformly, everything he advocated for last night which
has been called liberal, aggressive, and all of those things, is also very
popular.

So, are you really going to be the one who wants to say, no, we don`t
support paycheck fairness, no, we don`t support pre-school for children?
It`s not the place where they want to be, so instead they have to say,
President Obama, he just wants big government. He doesn`t think that the
private sector can do anything good. He is a socialist. He`s Mao and
Castro, apparently, as well.

O`DONNELL: Howard Dean, what would you have advised the Republicans
to try to embrace; in the president`s speech, without sacrificing any of
their principles? Were there things you thought if the Republicans were
smart, they would meet them at least half way, maybe more than half way on
some of these things?

HOWARD DEAN, FORMER DNC CHAIRMAN: Sure, that, I`m going to pay the
president the highest compliment you can pay, I think, which is this is the
first speech I`ve ever seen he gave that I thought was Clintonesque. It
was brilliant. It was truly brilliant in terms of its politics.

All of those things he mentioned had been tested in the `60s and `70s.
And just fry the -- well, I shouldn`t say that. He had a great speech, he
mentioned five or six things that the public really wants and then the
Republicans fell right into the trap. They looked like -- Mitch McConnell
always looks like he ate a quince just before he goes on the air.

But -- I mean, it`s just -- you know, these guys have no sense of
humor. They are moaning and groaning. They are still talking with the
same rhetoric that lost them the last election. And Rush Limbaugh is the
biggest favor that ever happened to us.

I mean, I`m just in shock. I thought the president did a really
brilliant job from a political point of view. We can talk about the policy
and argue about that. And the Republicans were their usually completely
wasted self.

Rubio, I thought did a decent job in terms of his presentation, he
didn`t have anything to say. But he was a fresh face, and that was good
for the Republican Party. But Mitch McConnell is -- he is smart, but God
Almighty --

(CROSSTALK)

BALL: Smart tactician, but maybe not the best messenger.

O`DONNELL: I want to listen to what the president said about the
basic workings of Congress and paying our bills on time.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: The greatest nation on Earth -- the greatest nation on Earth
cannot keep conducting its business by drifting from one manufactured
crisis to the next. We can`t do it.

(APPLAUSE)

Let`s agree -- let`s agree, right here, right now, to keep the
people`s government open and pay our bills on time and always uphold the
full faith and credit of the United States of America.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Krystal, I believe John Boehner is sitting behind him at
that moment thinking, he is exactly right, we shouldn`t be tampering with
this stuff. We will lose as a party, Republicans in the House, if we do
get caught tampering with this stuff again like we did on debt ceiling.

But how does Boehner try to keep control of his side on this?

BALL: Well, and that has been the big question. It is remarkable,
actually, that we were able to avoid the fiscal cliff. I mean, we sort of
went over it and we were able to keep that intact.

And the Republicans basically blinked. They realized on some level
that they were becoming known as the party of manufactured crisis. This
was all they had to offer the country.

And I think if they go down that path one or two times, that
impression will be, you know, imprinted on the American public, their
approval ratings are already at all-time lows. They cannot sink any
further in the public`s estimation. And we`re looking at sequester and
continuing resolution. We`re going to have another debt ceiling debate in
the summer.

They have now rather than the burden being on the Democrats to figure
out these problems, I really think the burden is on the Republicans because
if they cause these crises time and time again, the American public sees
what is going on and understands who is responsible.

O`DONNELL: The president is offering them the chance to avoid the
drastic sequester spending cuts, especially all of defense cuts which
Republicans don`t want. He is doing it with a combination of let`s raise
some revenue through tax loopholes on the rich. But he also made an offer
on Medicare last night, which is worth about $290 billion as he described
it.

Let`s listen to what he said about Medicare.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: We`ll reduce taxpayer subsidies to prescription drug companies
and ask more from the wealthiest seniors.

(APPLAUSE)

We`ll bring down costs by changing the way our government pays for
Medicare, because our medical bills shouldn`t be based on the number of
tests ordered or days spent in the hospital. They should be based on the
quality of care that our seniors receive.

(APPLAUSE)

And I am open to additional reforms from both parties, so long as they
don`t violate the guarantee of a secure retirement.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Howard Dean, your reaction to president`s offer on
Medicare.

DEAN: I think, you know, we`ve got to see what is in the fine print.
To say you don`t want to pay by the number of tests that are ordered is a
very good thing. To say you don`t pay by quality, that is pretty nebulous.
You don`t really know what that means.

We do have to reform Medicare. We have to do that. It is too
expensive. It`s not Medicare`s fault. It`s actually a much better run
program in most of the insurance programs.

But health care -- health care costs are out of control still.

So, let`s see. I mean, he is not wrong. I don`t think he`s going to
get much cooperation from the Republicans because they`re so radical, but
he is right.

BALL: Let me point out one thing on Medicare, one of the best kept
secrets is that the president has reformed Medicare and made a reformed
start on controlling those health care costs. This past year was t first
one where in a long time -- really since Medicare`s inception, where it
wasn`t the cost of health care growing, it was the aging population that
was the bigger driver of increasing cost in Medicare.

O`DONNELL: Howard Dean and Krystal Ball, thank you both for joining
me tonight.

DEAN: Thanks, Lawrence.

BALL: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, a LAST WORD exclusive: the shooting victim who
Ted Nugent attacked after the State of the Union address. Congressman Jim
Langevin joins me.

And how did Marco Rubio do in his audition for the presidential
nomination last night? Was a star born?

And in the rewrite, more readings from the NRA`s enemy`s list, and why
does the NRA`s enemy`s list have so many Jewish organizations on it?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: What does the Anti-Defamation League have in common with
the YWCA? The Young Women`s Christian Association. And what do they both
have in common with the company that makes Levi`s? All three of them area
actually on the National Rifle Association`s enemy`s list. As is Richard
Gere and Lou Gossett Jr..

It is the craziest list you have ever heard, and it is on tonight`s
rewrite.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Americans who believe in the Second Amendment have come
together around commonsense reform, like background checks that will make
it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun. Senators --

(APPLAUSE)

Senators -- senators of both parties are working together on tough new
laws to prevent anyone from buying guns for resale to criminals. Police
chiefs are asking our help to get weapons of war and massive ammunition
magazines off our streets, because these police chiefs, they`re tired of
seeing their guys and gals being outgunned.

Each of these proposals deserves a vote in Congress.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Among those not applauding President Obama`s mass control
proposals was house speaker John Boehner.

But here is what President Obama said last night that actually
provoked Speaker John Boehner to stand and yes, applaud.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: OBAMA: Hadiya`s parents, Nate and Cleo, are in this chamber
tonight, along with more than two dozen Americans whose lives have been
torn apart by gun violence.

They deserve a vote.

(APPLAUSE)

They deserve a vote.

(APPLAUSE)

Gabby Giffords deserves a vote.

(APPLAUSE)

The families of Newtown deserve a vote.

(APPLAUSE)

The families of Aurora deserve a vote.

(APPLAUSE)

The families of Oak Creek, and Tucson, and Blacksburg, and the
countless other communities ripped open by gun violence, they deserve a
simple vote.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: President Obama won over at least one Republican senator.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TOM COBURN (R), OKLAHOMA: He put forth some good ideas, I agree
we need to vote on guns, let`s have the debate, let`s have it out there.
Let`s talk about what the Constitution says and what the Bill of Rights is,
and what Tenth Amendment rights are and Second Amendment. I think we ought
to have votes. I`m all for it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: National Rifle Association blood wrenched lobbyist Wayne
LaPierre has announced he will respond to the president`s State of the
Union address tomorrow. Where else? At the National Wild Turkey
Federation Convention.

NRA board member and paranoid mad man Ted Nugent said this about
President Obama just a few months.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TED NUGENT, NRA BOARD MEMBER: If Barack Obama becomes the president
in November, again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next
year.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Nugent was, as usual, lying, of course. He is neither
dead nor in jail. But that lie earned Nugent a Secret Service
investigation for possibly threatening the president. And it earned him an
invitation to the last night`s State of the Union address from the newest
nut in the Texas congressional delegation, Congressman Steve Stockman.

Democratic Congressman Jim Langevin who was paralyzed at age 16 from a
shooting, told reporters that it was, quote, "an odd choice for a member of
Congress to invite somebody who threatened the life of the president."

Ted Nugent, who never breaks his part as a madman, then said
Congressman Langevin probably has crap for brains.

NBC`s Luke Russert took on the hopeless task of trying to make sense
of what Nugent had said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LUKE RUSSERT, NBC NEWS: Why does Congressman have (EXPLETIVE DELETED)
brains?

NUGENT: Because he lied, claiming that somehow I didn`t feel sorry
for the victims of violent crime.

RUSSERT: Is that an appropriate thing to say --

(CROSSTALK)

NUGENT: That would take genuine fecal material, instead of brain
matter, to actually continue such a vicious, hateful lie. I think it
qualifies.

RUSSERT: That it is an appropriate thing to say in the United States
Capitol about a disabled member of Congress?

NUGENT: Is it appropriate for him to claim that I care less about
crime victims than he does? Are you kidding me?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining me now for an exclusive interview, Democratic
congressman from Rhode Island, Jim Langevin.

Congressman, did you say, is it appropriate for you to have said if
you did, that Ted Nugent cares less about crime victims than you do?

REP. JIM LANGEVIN (D), RHODE ISLAND: That was never put to me and I
never said those words. What I did say is that Ted Nugent was an odd
choice to bring as a guest of the State of the Union, after comments he
made, alluding to the fact that he would bring harm in some way to the
president of the United States, as you pointed out, which prompted a Secret
Service investigation, as simple as that.

But I`m not going to let Ted Nugent distract from the real message or
the things we were involved in. I was proud to organize a group of my
colleagues. Each of us gave up our State of the Union guest ticket that we
each received to someone who has been victims of gun violence, who lost on
gun violence, who`s had their lives shattered by gun violence because it`s
so important and I believe that we enact sensible, responsible gun safety
legislation, like universal background checks. I`d also like to see the
assault weapons ban, and I`d like to see an elimination of these extend
around gun magazines that hold 30 or 100 rounds of ammunition that are
designed for nothing other than weapons of war, designed to kill large
numbers of people very quickly.

O`DONNELL: It was all fascinating as always to watch what Republicans
do not applaud for when the president is speaking. But there came that
moment when the president was asking for a vote, repeatedly asking for a
vote on this, that eventually John Boehner as we just showed in the video,
eventually stood and eventually clapped. What did you make of that?

LANGEVIN: Well, I`m glad that Speaker Boehner, something resonated
with him there, that he agreed, that yes, the victims of gun violence,
their families, all those lost their lives, they deserve a vote. And let
us debate this issue on the floor of the House, let us make or case and
have an up or down vote. And I believe we can make the case for
responsible, sensible gun safety legislation so that we keep guns out of
the hands of criminals.

But if Speaker Boehner won`t bring the bill to the floor we`ll never
have that opportunity. So I implore Speaker Boehner to bring a bill to the
floor, and let us have that debate and let us have that vote, up or down.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what the president says he hopes can be
achieved with this legislation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Our actions will not prevent every senseless act of violence
in this country. In fact, no laws, no initiatives, no administrative acts
will perfectly solve all the challenges I have outlined tonight. But we
were never sent here to be perfect. We were sent here to make what
difference we can.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That`s something we keep hearing from the NRA side of this
argument. Oh, you know, this won`t stop every mass murderer. Well, no one
says that every law stops every one who is interested in breaking that law.

LANGEVIN: Well, that is absolutely right. And we`re not looking for
the perfect solution, because there is no such thing as the perfect
solution.

What we are is looking to try to manage the risks. Close that
aperture of vulnerability, if you will, so that we take as much risk out of
this as possible. It means that we take guns out of the hands of criminals
or those who are -- have some form of mental illness that would preclude
them from owning a weapon, because they have a form of mental illness that
would bring harm to themselves or to others.

So, look, in my case, I -- as you pointed out earlier in the program,
I was a young police cadet, I was 16 years old when I was accidentally shot
and paralyzed. I was in the police locker room, police officer`s gun
accidentally went off, the bullet went to my neck and severed my spinal
cord. I`ve been was paralyzed ever since.

Now, my accident happened at the hands of two weapons expert at the
SWAT team, among most safest environment you think you`d be in. So, it
just shows you the accident can happen anywhere, and thankfully my accident
didn`t happen as a result of gun violence. It was an accident.

But it just goes to show the answer to keeping our kids and
communities safe is not more guns as the NRA would suggest.

O`DONNELL: Congressman, thank you very much for joining us tonight.
And thank you for making the State of the Union for meaningful for all of
us, by coming up with the idea of inviting people who are victims of gun
violence. Thank you.

LANGEVIN: Thank you. My guest was Jim Tyrell, who lost his sister
nine years ago to gun violence, and many others have powerful stories to
tell in there. It puts a face on a really important issue. Thank you.

O`DONNELL: We`re going to post some video on our Web site of what
your guest, Jim Tyrell, had to say, actually, that`s going to be on our Web
site. We`re going to be able to see that later. Thank you very much,
Congressman.

LANGEVIN: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, Wayne LaPierre has an enemy`s list, and you`re
probably on it, especially if you`re in a union, since the AFL-CIO is on
it. That means that I`m on it, because the unions that I`m in are members
of AFL-CIO. And it`s more likely if you`re in any Jewish organization.

The madness and the anti-Semitism of the NRA is in tonight`s rewrite.

And later, the Violence Against Women Act and tomorrow`s worldwide
demonstrations against abuse of women. Actor activist and V-Day board
member, Rosario Dawson, joins us. She will get tonight`s LAST WORD, in an
exclusive.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Was a star born last night for the Republican Party? Or
will Marco Rubio`s water break be the only thing people remember? Sam
Stein and Ari Melber will join me next.

And Marco Rubio was one of the 22 Republican men who voted against the
Violence Against Women Act. A LAST WORD exclusive tonight, actor and
activist Rosario Dawson will get tonight`s LAST WORD.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUBIO: Nothing has frustrated me more than false choices like the one
the president laid out tonight. The choice isn`t just between big
government or big business.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: In the Spotlight tonight, Marco Rubio, the day after.
Rubio went straight to television this morning to make fun of the only
moment that people might remember from his speech last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Got to ask you about that water bottle last night?
Twitter went a little bit wild. You Tweeted out the water bottle yourself.
You got it there again. You showed an ability to laugh at yourself. Do
you have anything to add to that Tweet from last night?

RUBIO: No. You know, I needed water, what am I going to do? It
happened.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Republicans had high hopes that Marco Rubio would emerge
last night as the savior of their party. Democrats were not impressed by
Rubio`s performance last night. But it is Republicans who will decide who
their next presidential nominee will be.

Republican opinion about the speech is varied. "Politico`s" Maggie
Haberman must have spent all day on the phone gathering Republican
responses. Republican strategist Bruce Hanes told "Politico," "it probably
made the average voter smile, and for Republicans, making voters smile is a
welcome change of pace."

Some were not happy with the speech or the speaker. But those people
would not give their names. Those Republicans spoke without attribution.
"Do I think it is lasting damage? No. Do I think it slowed down the Rubio
hype a bit? Yes."

Another anonymous one said "whatever they wanted out of him, I`m not
sure they got."

And "Rubio`s national introduction is now a punch line."

And here is reaction from Marco Rubio`s really biggest fan.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: The dry mouth -- his mouth was
dry, kept doing this. And that comes, by the way, I`ll just be -- that
comes from being nervous. It comes from butterflies. You go to a little
room with no noise, no audience, no applause lines and nobody applauding
and so forth. It is a really, really tough thing to do and to stand -- and
he did it.

He had dry mouth. Speech was excellent speech. He took it right to
Obama. He took it right to Obama.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Dry mouth expert, Dr. Rush Limbaugh. Now, Ari, you are in
a little room with no audience.

ARI MELBER, "THE NATION": This is a little room.

O`DONNELL: No, you know, applause lines. So that is --

SAM STEIN, "THE NATION": I have it right here. I mean --

O`DONNELL: So I don`t know. You know, it is hard to judge this thing
because of the water thing. Because -- how did he do?

MELBER: The water throws it off. The dry mouth, which Rush Limbaugh
said about three times, which I really appreciated. But there is something
real here, which is when your rise is based on nothing, your fall can also
be based on nothing.

O`DONNELL: Oh, yeah, that makes sense.

Let`s take a look at where the bar was set. He had to do better than
Bobby Jindal did. Let`s just put the two of them together and see how they
did.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R), LOUISIANA: Good evening, and Happy Mardi Gras.

RUBIO: False choices like the one the president laid out tonight.
The choice isn`t just between big government or big business.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Sam Stein, which is better, looking a little goofy walking
up to the microphone, and then saying "Happy Mardi Gras," which I think
threw a lot of people back then, or you know, the desperate reach for the
water?

STEIN: Which is better?

O`DONNELL: Yeah, which one of those --

(CROSS TALK)

STEIN: I think we can relate more to the need for water than --

O`DONNELL: Yes, I can. I absolutely can.

STEIN: I was surprised. I thought Rush Limbaugh, out of gratitude
towards Rubio, would say something like, well, even Ronald Reagan had dry
mouth at one point in his life, and then you could compare Rubio to Reagan.
This is just sort -- this is a real distraction, obviously. It is not a
significant blunder, I don`t think, in any respect.

I think Ari`s point is more valid than that, which is that Rubio`s
speech was sort of -- if you looked at it, tried over platforms of the
Romney campaign, in addition to a little bit more moderation on immigration
reform. And if you look at it substantively, which I think is more
important than looking at the reach for the Poland Springs bottle, I think
that`s more of a problem than anything else.

O`DONNELL: He was going for a compassionate conservative thing. He
was talking about student loans, saying listen, I used student loans. I
couldn`t have gotten through college without student loans. There aren`t
many Republicans who can get up and talk about those things that way. At
the same time, he is in the party that, if you leave it to them, they would
cut student loans.

MELBER: Exactly. Look, he has a good bio and he has a great story.
But nobody ever said that Medicare doesn`t go to Republicans and student
loan programs don`t go to Republicans. He has all of these facts, these
biographical facts that have no point. And so if your argument to the
public is we just ran on gutting Medicare, and everything I`m saying
tonight, when you look at the details in the approach to our budget and our
fiscal health, is about under cutting Medicare and related programs, and
then telling us that your parents were on Medicare, that doesn`t do
anything for us.

And everyone knows that unless your parents are rich, when they`re
old, they probably will use Medicare.

STEIN: The real story of the speech started a couple hours
beforehand, when he voted against the reauthorization of the Violence
Against Women Act. You can cast those votes. And those, in the end, will
be more problematic than any well-orated speech that you can give, because
people are going to look at how you actually vote.

That is the real problem with Rubio. He does present a great story.
He has these biography anecdotes that are moving. And he`s now a moderate
voice on immigration. But when you vote against the reauthorization of
VAWA, you have a lot of explaining to do.

O`DONNELL: Sam Stein and Ari Melber, thank you both for joining me
tonight.

MELBER: Thanks.

STEIN: Thank you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up in the Rewrite, a second night of readings from
the NRA`s enemy list. It did not just name celebrities, as we told you
about the other night. It also named doctors, teachers and a surprisingly
long list of Jewish organizations.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: What does the AARP have in common with the Gray Panthers?
Well, yes, they both advocate on behalf of seniors. But there is something
else they have in common, something that has nothing to do with senior
citizens. What does the American Civil Liberties Union have in common with
the Congress of Neurological Surgeons? It is the same thing that the
United States Catholic Conference has in common with the Police Foundation.
The Police Foundation`s stated purpose is, quote, "to help the police be
more effective in doing their job," which of course means the Police
Foundation, the country`s leading think tank on effective and just police
work, is on the NRA`s enemy`s list.

As is every other group I have mentioned. Now let`s take a look at
that list of enemies of the National Rifle Association, and see if we can
make any sense of it at all. The American Association of Retired People,
the Gray Panthers, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Congress of
Neurological Surgeons, the United States Catholic Conference and the Police
Foundation.

That list makes absolutely no sense. What could the Gray Panthers
possibly have done to get on the NRA`s enemy`s list? And neurological
surgeons? Really? No one in the four million NRA members has ever had a
brain tumor? Neurological surgeons are enemies of the NRA?

And so is the American Nurse`s Association and the Ambulatory
Pediatric Association, along with, naturally I guess, the American Academy
of Pediatrics, the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Associates and
Practitioners, and the National Association of Children`s Hospitals.

If you have anything to do with the health care of children, you are
on the NRA`s enemy list. As is, of course, the American Medical
Association. There is not a single person who has been tricked into paying
dues to the NRA who could tell us why the American Academy of Pediatrics is
on the NRA`s enemy`s list, or why the NRA hates brain surgeons.

Because the dues money of the NRA is constantly being used for things
that a majority of members of the NRA do not support. It is being used now
to lobby against background checks for gun sales, something most NRA
members actually support.

The AMC Theater chain is on the NRA enemies list, which makes me want
to only see movies at AMC Theaters now. And Ben and Jerry`s ice cream is
on the enemies list, which makes me want to get even fatter.

The Kansas City Chiefs and the Kansas City Royals are on the NRA`s
enemies list. So if you`re a football or baseball fan in Kansas City and
an NRA member, you had better find a Chicago team to follow. Because don`t
think the nearby St. Louis Rams are the answer. Because they, too, are on
the NRA`s enemy`s list.

Stoney Field Farm`s Yogurt has just become my yogurt of choice by
getting itself on the NRA`s enemies list. How crazy are Wayne LaPierre and
the other blood-drenched lobbyists for mass murderers who run the NRA at
their Washington headquarters? How crazy? Their enemies list perfectly
describes just how crazy they really are.

And I`m just giving you the tip of the iceberg of this list here, the
tip of the crazy. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores is on the
list. The National Association of Secondary School Principals is on the
list, as is the National Association of Elementary School Principals.

The most tragically famous elementary school principal in America,
Dawn Hochsprung, died trying to save the lives of her elementary school
students in Newtown, Connecticut. Her body was ripped apart by gunfire by
a mass murderer who was equipped to the hilt with an assault weapon and
high-capacity magazines, thanks entirely to the work of the National Rifle
Association.

And after that happened, no one at the NRA thought hey, maybe, maybe
we should take elementary school principals off our enemies list for a
while. The YMCA of the USA is not on the NRA`s enemies list, but the YWCA
is. Go figure. It is a goofy list, but it is also a poisonous list,
filled with hatred and paranoia.

And where there is the paranoia in America, there is always racism and
anti-Semitism. And so the NAACP is on the list. The National Black Nurses
Association is on the list. The National Council of Negro Women is on the
list. And the National Political Congress of Black Women is on the NRA`s
enemies list.

The Urban League is on the NRA`s enemies list. The Southern Christian
Leadership Conference is on the NRA`s hate list.

But by far the easiest possible way to get your organization on the
NRA`s enemies list is to be a Jewish organization. The Union of American
Hebrew Congregations, the National Council of Jewish Women, the Jewish
Labor Committee -- Hadassa is on the NRA`s enemies list. The Central
Conference of American Rabbis, Bnei Brith is on the National Rifle
Association`s enemies list.

The American Jewish congress is on the list. The American Jewish
Committee is on the list. And yes, the Anti-Defamation League is on the
National Rifle Association`s enemies list.

This man runs an organization that doesn`t just secretly hate the
Jewish people who run the Anti-Defamation League and all the other Jewish
organizations I just mentioned. He actually puts them on his
organization`s enemies list by name. He keeps a list of the Jewish
organizations he hates. And he made that list readily available on his
organization`s website.

And then -- then he was warmly invited by Republicans to testify to
the United States Senate, the same Republicans who turned Chuck Hagel`s
confirmation hearing into a game show of who supports the state of Israel
the most, a game show that was then parodied by "Saturday Night Live" in a
piece they posted online. And that piece, that "Saturday Night Live"
sketch incurred the wrath of Abraham Foxman, the head of the Anti-
Defamation League.

Abe Foxman`s thoughtful and sensitive letter to Lorne Michaels, the
executive producer of "Saturday Night Live," expresses his concern that,
quote, "the skit could play into the worst kind of ideas, even reinforcing
pernicious notions of Jewish control of government."

Yes, it could, for crazy people, and only for crazy people who don`t
understand that it was a joke, the kind of crazy people who put Abe Foxman
on their enemies list. The Anti-Defamation League is on a list filled with
Jewish organizations, an enemies list.

And Abe Foxman is worried about stuff "Saturday Night Live" is doing
in their dress rehearsal that doesn`t even make it to the show, stuff
everyone knows is a joke.

The Anti-Defamation League and Jews everywhere should be worried about
what they`re doing on an enemies list, and why the authors of that enemies
list have so much power in Congress. Abe Foxman has served his community
and the world honorably for almost 50 years at the Anti-Defamation League.
He is deservedly well respected by Democrats and Republicans in Washington,
far more so than Wayne LaPierre could ever dream of.

No one has done more to fight anti-semitism in America than Abe
Foxman. His life`s work has been hugely successful. Anti-semitism has
been virtually purged from our public life. Most anti-semites now know
that they have to keep their views private unless they are writing the
public enemies list of the National Rifle Association.

Abe Foxman has the moral authority to crush the people who put him on
the National Rifle Association`s enemies list. And America desperately
needs him to do that.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: We know our economy is stronger when our wives, our mothers,
our daughters can live their lives free from discrimination in the work
place and free from the fear of domestic violence. Today, the Senate
passed the Violence Against Women Act that Joe Biden originally wrote
almost 20 years ago. And I now urge the House to do the same.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: All 22 senators who voted against the bill were, of
course, men, Republican men. Tomorrow is the 15th anniversary of V-Day,
the movement created by Tony-award winning playwright Eve Ensler to raise
awareness about violence against women all over the world.

Tomorrow, V-Day will launch the new one billion rising campaign for
the billion women around the world who are victims of violence in their
lifetimes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROSARIO DAWSON, ACTRESS: I am rising because one in three women will
be raped, killed or beaten in her lifetime. We compose the majority of the
planet. I think it is scary and insane to imagine that women`s issues and
girl`s issues are a side issue. And as long as we continue to not stand up
and rise, and make it a -- the thing that is at the forefront, we`re going
to see every other issue before us continue to fail.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Rosario Dawson, I have one of these introductions here to
read of you. But we don`t need that. Actress, activist, V-Day board
member, and it doesn`t say director, but you are a director. You directed
one of Eve`s plays.

DAWSON: Yes, actually, "Emotional Creature," which is now in -- on
stage here in New York, has -- went through its gestation period. I was
one of the first people to direct a reading of it. Two readings of it,
actually.

O`DONNELL: And this movement, V-Day came out -- Eve wrote "Vagina
Monologues," which everyone knows. But she didn`t just stop there. She
created this movement. And now you`re moving into this new stage tomorrow.
Tell us about what you`re doing tomorrow.

DAWSON: Well, tomorrow is One Billion Rising. You know, the U.N.
statistic is that one in three women will be raped, killed or beaten in her
lifetime. And so that accounts for over a billion women on the planet.
You know, for our 15 year anniversary for V-Day, we wanted to do something
really big. And Eve came up with the extraordinary, outrageous idea to
have a billion people rise in solidarity with the billion people who will
be abused, and say we will strike, we will dance, we will build awareness,
and we will pledge to do something to end this violence against women and
girls.

O`DONNELL: So it is not just rise. It is dance.

DAWSON: Yes.

O`DONNELL: And -- "To Break the Chain," I believe, is the song
they`re going to be dancing to. I think we have it. Do we have it? Can
we play it? Can we talk over it or hear it?

(SINGING)

O`DONNELL: Okay, well, I will be chair dancing to that right here,
tomorrow night, at 10:00 p.m. I`ll chair dance through the entire show.

DAWSON: Yes.

O`DONNELL: Eve has a poem that she has written for this. Could you
read that for us?

DAWSON: Yes, this is an excerpt from it. It`s called "Over It."

"I am over rape happening in broad daylight. I am over a woman being
gang-raped and murdered on a bus in Delhi, or gang-raped and videoed in
Steubenville, Ohio.

"I am over one in three women in the U.S. military getting raped by
their so-called comrades. I am over the forces that deny women who have
been raped the right to have an abortion. I am over rape victims becoming
re-raped when they try to prosecute their cases."

O`DONNELL: There seems to be something happening this year. We have
this documentary that`s come out about rape in the military. And
everything you mentioned in there is something that we`ve all heard about
recently in the news.

DAWSON: Yes, very much so. And as you were just saying, with VAWA
finally passing, which is atrocious -- it lagged and it fell behind. And
the fact that it`s still something that everyone didn`t sign is atrocious.
And a lot of the reason why that was happening was because of stipulations
that were saying that native Indian women who are being abused and raped on
reservations by people who are non-Indians don`t have a right to prosecute
against the people who were abusing them, because it falls under this
strange jurisdiction.

And it`s just amazing that we have this. And that`s why we need this
momentum, because we`re asking people to pledge on OneBillionRising.org
about what they`re going to do. And it`s not just about awareness. It`s
about action.

O`DONNELL: Rosario Dawson gets tonight`s LAST WORD. Thanks Rosario.

"THE ED SHOW" is up next.

END

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